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Jubilee Singers Concert Program

A description of the item at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Jubilee Singers
Title: Jubilee Singers Concert Program
Inclusive Dates: 1940
Quantity: 1 item (SC)
Abstract: Program for vocal concert by the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, opened in January 1866, was one of seven chartered institutions founded by the American Missionary Association of New York specifically to educate and assist Southern African-Americans in the period immediately following the civil war. It was named in honor of General Clinton B. Fisk of the Tennessee Freedmen's Bureau. In 1870 George L. White, Fisk treasurer and music professor, created a nine-member student choral ensemble -- the Jubilee Singers -- and took them on tour to earn money for the University. Initially the group sang only ballads and patriotic anthems, but White suggested adding spirituals and other songs traditional to the Southern African-American experience, making the Jubilee Singers the first group to publicly perform the songs of slaves.

In 1872 the Jubilee Singers sang at the World Peace Festival in Boston and President Ulysses S. Grant invited them to perform at the White House. In 1873 the group toured Europe, raising enough funds to erect the school's first permanent building, Jubilee Hall; one entire wall of the Hall is a portrait of the original Jubilee Singers. The portrait was commissioned by Queen Victoria as a gift following the tour.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Jubilee Singers Concert Program consists of a single item, a program for a vocal concert in 1940. The city is not specified; presumably the program could be printed in large numbers and then the city added in a separate print run.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center and the library's general circulating collection both have a number of books related to or about the Jubilee Singers. For a complete listing, please refer to the Classic Catalog and search on "Jubilee singers" as a subject heading.

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Subject Headings

Corporate Bodies

American Missionary Association.
Jubilee Singers.


African American singers.
African Americans -- Music.
Choirs (Music) -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Fisk University -- Choral organizations.

Genres and Forms

Programs (documents)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Jubilee Singers Concert Program,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2007.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 20 Sep 2007
Revision history:

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Printed material
SC 204 Concert program 1940

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